Apple users make up over 27% of smartphone users globally and over 57% in the US.
Smartphone users require applications that solve their problems, provide entertainment or add value to their lives in some form. This presents developers and businesses with an opportunity to deliver value-adding software and earn profits.
As Apple users make up a considerable portion of smartphone users, developers should not overlook the opportunity to create and deliver software for the iOS operating system. Businesses that don’t have a team with expertise in iOS software building can still benefit by serving Apple users by partnering with an iOS app development company.
What makes more sense? Native or Hybrid?
You can build applications using hybrid frameworks and deploy them to various mobile platforms, including iOS platforms. But, if you want to develop applications exclusively for Apple users, you must use native development environments.
If you plan to build natively, you will need to write the code in either Swift or Objective-C. For user interface design, you can go with UIkit or use SwiftUI, and the development environment will be provided by X-code.
In short, there’s a time and place for both. However, in this blog, we will stick with the native – touching upon the basics of swift and giving you an overview of SwiftUI and x-code - to give you an idea of what it’s like to build applications for iOS.
X-code is Where it All Happens…
X-code is Apple’s integrated development environment. That simply means that if you want to build software for Apple devices, X-code is the platform where all the action will take place. From coding to testing, x-code has tools and features that will come in handy throughout your project.
X-code runs on Mac OS and can be downloaded for free from the Mac Appstore. If you are going for the latest version, you will be working with x-code 15.
Coding in Swift
The software you aim to develop is likely going to deal with some data. In Swift, variables are a way to reference, track, and access data. For each piece of data, you have to create a variable that can keep track of it.
If you create a variable for some data, and you later decide to change the data that the variable is keeping track of, you can do that by assigning a new piece of data to the variable you created. However, in such a scenario, the variable will only track the latest value and lose track of the data it was previously assigned.
When naming a variable, make sure you name it according to the type of data you want it to track. If your variable name consists of more than one word, you might want to use camel casing to make it readable.
You can also use constants for the same purpose you create variables to keep track of data. But if you are tracking a piece of data with a constant, you can not change its value. Hence, when coding, you want to make sure which data you want to track using variables and which you want to track using constants.
Building the UI
The quality of experience your users have with your application depends majorly on the user interface of your software.
As an iOS programmer, you will be using X-code for building UI. When filling out details for your project, you will be required to select a UI framework. You can either go with UI Kit or Swift UI.
Swift UI was launched in 2019 by Apple. It is a declarative framework that was built to deliver a superior programming experience to iOS programmers.
A Declarative UI Framework
When building an iPhone application with swift UI, a programmer has to give commands regarding the outcome he desires. In contrast to an imperative framework, the declarative framework requires much less code to make a feature or a component function properly.
Write the Code and View How it Looks – in Real-Time
Coding in Swift UI involves writing the code using the code editor. As you write the code, components of the UI are rendered in real-time by X-code and displayed on a canvas.
The "Combine" Approach
Combine is a reactive programming framework incorporated into SwiftUI. It allows developers to process values over time, handling complex data flows and asynchronous operations more effectively. This approach simplifies the management of dynamic data, making it ideal for modern, interactive apps.
In Combine, the Publisher protocol plays a crucial role. It defines how values and events are broadcasted to interested subscribers. Publishers encapsulate the logic of emitting values, such as user input, notifications, or network responses. They can be combined and transformed, allowing developers to build complex data pipelines with ease.
Complementing the Publisher is the Subscriber protocol. Subscribers listen for values emitted by Publishers. Upon receiving values, subscribers can perform actions, update UI elements, or trigger other processes. This protocol is fundamental in creating a responsive and dynamic interface, as it directly links data changes to UI updates.
A Unified Framework for All Apple Devices
SwiftUI's most striking feature is its cross-platform nature. It offers a unified framework that works across all Apple devices, from the Apple Watch to the Mac. This universality means that developers can write UI code once and deploy it on multiple devices, ensuring consistency and reducing development time. The framework automatically adapts UI elements to match the design language and user interface guidelines of each platform, providing a native look and feel.
Developing iOS apps is a profitable endeavor – hence, neither developers nor businesses should overlook this opportunity. You can make an effort to develop software on your own, or you can outsource it to an iOS app development company.
Leveraging custom iOS development has several advantages – as you get to work with established professionals who are experts at turning ideas into revenue-generating smartphone applications. We at Cubix have been developing apps that are purposefully designed to help businesses meet their specific objectives. Our portfolio exhibits our team’s expertise, and our clientele speaks of our commitment to client satisfaction.
Contact us today to discuss your idea.